The stakes are high when it comes to the sale of what is likely an owner’s most valuable asset. It is very important for an owner to understand the role of an agent and how the relationship works. In Manhattan, when an owner decides to sell and agrees to work with a specific agent, the agent’s company has the exclusive right to sell for a specified period of time (usually six months). The seller’s agent often pays for professional photographs, copywriting and/or videos. The agent’s duties include advertising the property, negotiating offers, and working with prospective buyers to gain approval from the building’s board.
How do you know who the right agent is? When choosing an agent, consider those who have already sold in the neighborhood and/or your building. As a seller, you should ask how close to the asking price the agent’s previous listings have sold for to see how realistic their pricing strategy is and how quickly they can turn over a sale. Also, as a seller, you should consider an agent you can trust and who has a good work ethic. Some people tend to choose agents from well-known firms due to their highly trafficked websites, thinking it will increase their chance of a speedy sale. The problem is that you need an agent who will market your property above and beyond the standard and will hold open houses, constantly working on your behalf.
When drafting a contract, some buyers ask for a detailed marketing plan. Your agent should produce a plan along with information for the listing, professional photographs and a detailed list of where they will choose to advertise. A commission of 6% of the purchase is standard. Sometimes, sellers can negotiate a lower amount. One option is that if a buyer brings his own broker, the seller will pay 6% but if the buyer is unrepresented, the seller can offer to pay 5%.
The bottom line is that your agent must advocate for you. Selling an apartment can be overwhelming, so you need someone you can trust to guide you through the process and deliver the best value for your home!
SOURCE (The New York Times)